Islanders: Howie Rose Was Around The Team From The Beginning
By Matt O'Leary
Howie Rose was the New York Islanders Play by Play announcer for 20 seasons but I bet you didn’t know his ties to the team go further back than that.
Heading into the 1995 season, the New York Islanders were tasked with the seemingly impossible, replacing Jiggs McDonald. McDonald is one of the most respected and loved broadcasters in the business and was with the team since their Stanley Cup days.
The Islanders decided to go with Howie Rose, who made himself a household name with his famous call of the Rangers advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994.
It’s no secret, Rose grew up a Rangers fan and was a Rangers broadcaster before coming to the Islanders but what many don’t know is that Howie Rose has always had strong ties to the New York Islanders.
Rose hopped on The Athletic’s “No Sleep Til Belmont” to talk about his time with the Islanders and we came to find out that Rose was around the team since the beginning.
During the Islanders’ second season in existence, Rose covered the team as a college student. He was fully credentialed, was able to do locker room interviews, and he even called the games into a tape recorder while being there.
Howie essentially got his start in the business with the Islanders. He goes on to say how important it was for Al Arbour to give him the time of day and treat him just like any other reporter.
It gave Rose the confidence he needed in order to break into the industry. In the half-hour interview, he goes on to talk about some of his favorite moments. The 2001-2002 season, with the Toronto series, is one that stands out to him.
That year was a turning point for the team. For the entirety of his tenure as the broadcaster before that the team was brutal, but the Alexi Yashin and Michael Peca led Islanders were a ton of fun.
Interestingly enough, Rose mentions Mike Milbury as a positive influence during his time there. He understands why fans might not like Mike but said he had a good relationship with him and that he understood what Rose had to do and didn’t get in the way.
It’s really a tremendous listen, I’m a tad biased as a broadcasting nerd (and Howie Rose just happens to be my favorite broadcaster of all-time) but you should check out the full episode.
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Howie really loved the Islanders, and they hold a special place in his heart. So yes, he may have grown up rooting for the other New York team, before the Islanders even existed, but don’t think for a second that this job didn’t mean the world to him.